Low water pressure is usually just an inconvenience, but finding the source of the problem can be difficult. There are many parts of your home plumbing that could be responsible, especially if it's affecting your entire house. If you only experience low water pressure in one or two rooms, or if it only happens when your water is hot or cold, it's a little easier to figure out, or at least troubleshoot, the problem.
Troubleshoot Problem Location
Figuring out where the problem is centralized can help you find the source of the problem much more quickly. Turn on every faucet and shower head in your house separately — only have one running at a time — to see if there's any area where the water pressure is noticeably lower. Don't forget to check in your basement, outdoor faucets and hose hookups.
While testing each faucet and shower head, also run both hot and cold water to see if there is any noticeable difference in pressure when the water temperature changes.
If the problem is centralized just to certain faucets, the problem is more likely related to the faucets themselves instead of your plumbing. In addition, if there is a difference in pressure between hot and cold water, the problem could be related to your hot water heater.
Check Individual Faucets
If you only have an issue with specific faucets and shower heads, they may be clogged with debris. This can happen with plastic from pipes or small clumps of minerals or rust that collect in your pipes over time and then break free. Debris is usually caught in your faucet's aerator, so start by removing your faucet's aerator and running the water. If you get decent pressure, you probably just need to clean the aerator. If not, the faucet itself could be clogged.
Follow a similar process for your shower heads. Remove them from the wall and look inside to see if there is anything blocking water flow. If debris is the cause, you'll usually only find it in your faucet or shower head, so don't worry about it being anywhere else in the pipes unless there's a serious clog.
Check PRV and Valves
Check your house's pressure reducing valve and your shutoff valves to make sure that they are completely open. If they are changed or bumped by accident, it could suddenly reduce water pressure for your whole house. If they are fine, use a water pressure test gauge to test everything in your house. It's possible your city's water pressure may be low.
Investigate Water Heater
If water pressure decreases only when you have hot water turned on, there's a good chance your water heater is responsible. Make sure your shut-off valve is completely open, and make sure that your inflow pipe has decent pressure; without decent inflow pressure, outflow pressure cannot be high. You can also drain and flush your tank to remove any mineral buildup that may get in the way of your pipes.
For more information, contact Tidewater Plumbing & Heating or a similar company.